Indian American Judith Monickaraj, of Rochester, New York, has received the Girl Scout Gold Award this year for her project, Launch Pads for Change, something she created to provide menstrual care and hygiene items to women in Pune, India.
Monickaraj was inspired to do this project, after learning that girls in India are at risk of missing up to one week of school each month because they do not have access to feminine hygiene products.
“As a woman who prioritizes her schoolwork, I could not imagine having such a disruption every month, with such a simple, yet unattainable, solution,” Monickaraj states on her website, adding that she was “excited” to help people in India.
Monickaraj began her project by sewing together menstrual pads for the girls and with the help of her team consisting of her mother, her Girl Scout troop, her cousins and brother, she was able to donate over 100 handmade pads.
She collaborated with Koinonia Fellowship, an organization that helps run a girls’ home in Pune and sends medical supplies annually.
“The main goal of the Launch Pads for Change project is to provide women with the necessary hygienic tools they need to focus on greatness, and making an impact on their world,” she writes on her website.
Monickaraj plans to pursue a career in the medical field.